Halifax International Security Forum
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Quotable Quotes

Quotable Quotes

Halifax International Security Forum

““Halifax is all about going global…it’s about discussions that question our assumptions to help us better meet the challenges ahead of us. This Forum informs and enables us as community of ideas for the real world—a community that remains active even after each of us returns to our homes and our routines.””
–Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, Canada

““Halifax is about the relationships that are fostered and strengthened; the ideas that are articulated, and challenged; the insights and information that inform real decisions made by leaders on the front lines, around the world.””
–Peter Van Praagh, President, Halifax International Security Forum

Israel/Palestine Conflict

““From the point of Israel, the goals of this campaign have been accomplished. But Israel can’t stop if the other side doesn’t stop. We have the building blocks for stopping it. The two most important actors, Israel and Hamas, in my opinion, are interested in a ceasefire….but there is no dialogue between these two parties….this fact actually causes any ceasefire to be very fragile.””
–Shlomo Brown, Senior Research Fellow and Director, Program on Israel-Palestinian Relations Institute for National Security Studies

““Why is it taking place? In my opinion it’s face-saving for Netanyahu, who banged the drums of war against Iran and it didn’t work. This is a war by proxy against Iran. It is an egotistic issue for Netanyahu.””
–Mohammed Shtayyeh, Minister, Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction


““The message they want to bring to you is that the democracy movement feels abandoned. Not just over the last few years, but the last decade. In the Arab world, there’s almost an implosion of civil society.””
–Afra Jalabi, Member, Syrian National Council

““The no-fly zone proposal is worthy of some deep and thoughtful consideration. The longer this conflict continues, the more dangerous it is for the region.””
–Mark Udall, U.S. Senator

US Role in the World

““If this is what the new normal is these days, then we’re probably going to have to redefine the concept of normal. There have been very few times I can recall when the US was in such flux itself about the degree to which it views itself as responsible for shaping where the world is.””
–David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent, New York Times

““We can’t right every wrong, or put out every fire. But where we can, we should. Because it’s in our interest to see countries develop, to have a chance at democracy and freedom and all the things we’ve stood for in our country for over 200 years.””
–John McCain, U.S. Senator

““The Obama administration made a mistake when they talked about leading from behind. They should be talking about leveraging…The US can leverage itself, and by working with other countries as well, but ultimately we are the indispensable nation.””
–Carla Robbins, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Drones, Cyber & Consequences of Modern Warfare

““Drones in a way are like a lawn mower. You have to keep using it or your grass keeps growing. It’s a tactic, not a strategy.””
–Elisa Massimino, President and Chief Executive Officer, Human Rights First

““We shouldn’t overreact, and we must remind ourselves that cyber security is first and foremost the responsibility of each nation. We have an alliance responsible for global defense, but each nation is responsible for its own security.””
–Jean-Paul Paloméros, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO


““Please do not say [the violence] is because of Afghan tribalism, and the fever of violence in Afghan blood. No, we want life. A very civil, normal life. But we are in a very bad neighborhood. A country to our south promotes Sunni extremism and a country to the west supports Shiite extremism. And in the middle, we are like an asphalt flower trying to survive.””
–Amrullah Saleh, Former Intelligence Chief, Afghanistan

““I think the present US and NATO strategy is deeply flawed. They’re focusing on the military transition, and I have no doubt that will work out all right. But the real issue at stake is the political transition. The elections coming up in 2014—how much leverage or pressure can the West bring to bear to ensure those elections are free and fair? If there’s another rigged election, Afghanistan very well could fall apart. We could face a civil war or a crisis that we’ve never faced before.””
–Ahmed Rashid,, Journalist and Author, Pakistan

North America and Foreign Oil

““In everything we’re doing for economic development, we have to acknowledge it has some kind of environmental impact. We might as well admit that, and then figure out how to manage it.””
–Alison Redford, Premier, Alberta, Canada

Press Releases

Canada Unveils New Defence Policy

WASHINGTON, DC – Canadian Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan released Canada’s new defence policy yesterday, entitled Strong, Secure, Engaged. This policy announcement is the…

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